September 13, 1874: Arnold Schönberg is born at Brigittenau 393 (Obere Donaustraße 5) in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the second and eldest surviving of four children born to Samuel Schönberg, shoestore owner and amateur musician, and Pauline Nachod, daughter of a family of cantors. Schönberg’s parents moved to Vienna from Pressburg (Bratislava), giving him Hungarian nationality and in 1918, Czechoslovakian nationality, when that country is created.
December 8, 1881: Shortly before the beginning of the second Viennese performance of Les contes d'Hoffmann in the Ringtheater, fire breaks out on stage. Since the doors open inward, many are killed in the crush. About 650 people are burned, asphyxiated, or trampled to death. Johann Strauss (56) attended the Vienna premiere last night. Anton Bruckner (57), who keeps all his musical manuscripts in an apartment next door, rushes to the scene to save his work. By the time he gets there, the fire is under control. Among the dead are Heinrich Nachod and his wife, aunt and uncle of Arnold Schoenberg (7). Their two children will be adopted by the Schoenbergs.
January 22, 1891: Following the death of his father, Arnold Schoenberg (16) leaves the Realschule Vienna before completing his studies.
March 2, 1896: In what is probably the first public performance of any music by Arnold Schoenberg (21), Alexander von Zemlinsky conducts his Notturno in Vienna.
March 17, 1898: A String Quartet in D by Arnold Schoenberg (23) is performed for the first time, by the Tonkünstlerverein, privately, in Vienna. See 20 December 1898.
March 25, 1898: Arnold Schoenberg (23) is baptized into the Protestant Dorotheer Community in Vienna. He receives the name Arnold Walter Franz Schoenberg.
December 20, 1898: A String Quartet in D by Arnold Schoenberg (24) is performed publicly for the first time, in the Bösendorfersaal, Vienna. See 17 March 1898.
October 7, 1901: Arnold Schoenberg (27) marries Mathilde von Zemlinsky in a civil ceremony in Pressburg (Bratislava). See 18 October 1901.
October 18, 1901: Arnold Schoenberg (27) marries Mathilde von Zemlinsky in a religious ceremony in the Church of the Dorotheer Community, Vienna. See 7 October 1901.
July 31, 1902: Arnold Schoenberg (27) leaves his position as conductor at the Wohlzogen Theater, Berlin.
February 11, 1904: The first two of the Four Songs op.2 by Arnold Schoenberg (29) to words of Dehmel are performed for the first time, in Vienna. See 26 January 1907 and 14 January 1910.
March 1, 1904: In an effort to support his young colleague, Gustav Mahler (44) attends a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s (29) Verklärte Nacht in Vienna. Mahler cheers the work loudly, but most of the audience reaction is strongly negative. Mahler suggests to Schoenberg that he rescore the piece for string orchestra.
October 15, 1904: Arnold Schoenberg (30) begins a course “for professionals and serious amateurs” in harmony and counterpoint in Vienna, along with Alexander von Zemlinsky (analysis and instrumentation) and Dr. Elsa Bienenfeld (music history). One of his students is Alban Berg (19), who was brought to the attention of Schoenberg by the young man’s brother and sister. Upon seeing Berg’s compositions, Schoenberg invites him to the course free of charge.
December 12, 1904: Arnold Schoenberg (30) writes to Gustav Mahler (44) in Vienna after hearing Mahler’s Symphony no.3. “…I have seen your soul naked, stark naked. It lay before me like a wild mysterious landscape with its horror-provoking shadows and ravines, and, next to these, joyful charming sunny meadows, idyllic resting places. I felt the symphony to be an experience of nature with its horror and evil and its transfiguring, tranquillizing rainbows…I felt they were battle about illusions; I felt the grief of a disillusioned man, I saw good and evil forces struggling with each other, I saw a man in torturing agitation seeking for inner harmony; I could see it, a man, a drama, truth, most reckless truth…” (Fischer, 480)
January 26, 1907: The first five of the Six Songs op.3 by Arnold Schoenberg (32) are performed for the first time, in the Ehrbaarsaal, Vienna. Also premiered is the third of his Four Songs op.2 to words of Dehmel. Also performed are six of the Eight Songs op.6. See 26 March 1919 and 28 April 1915.
February 8, 1907: Kammersymphonie op.9 by Arnold Schoenberg (32) is performed for the first time, in the Musikvereinsaal, Vienna. In the middle of the performance, Schoenberg opponents begin noisily moving their chairs. Gustav Mahler (46) shouts at them to be quiet, which they do. At the end, loud applause, led by Mahler, is accompanied by whistles and catcalls. Alma Mahler will remember that as they proceed home, her husband tells her “I do not understand his music, but he is young; perhaps he is right. I am old, perhaps I no longer have the ear for his music.”
November 7, 1907: At an evening devoted to the music of the students of Arnold Schoenberg (33) at the Saal des Gremius of the Wiener Kaufmannschaft, Alban Berg (22) makes his first appearance as composer. Berg’s works premiered include the three songs, Liebesode (words by Hartleben), Die Nachtigall (words by Storm), and Traumgekrönt (words by Rilke), and the Double Fugue for string quartet and piano. The Piano Quintet of Anton von Webern (23) is also premiered.
August 26, 1908: In Gmunden, Arnold Schoenberg (33) sees his wife Mathilde kissing the painter Richard Gerstl. Mathilde and Gerstl thereupon leave together for Vienna.
December 21, 1908: The String Quartet no.2 of Arnold Schoenberg (34) is performed for the first time, in the Bösendorfersaal, Vienna, to the accompaniment of whistles and catcalls. The Neue Wiener Tageblatt will report on the concert in its police blotter.
September 2, 1909: Richard Strauss (45) returns the score of Arnold Schoenberg’s (34) Five Orchestral Pieces to the composer without hope of performance, saying “...your pieces are such daring experiments in content and sound that...I dare not introduce them to the more than conservative Berlin public.”
January 14, 1910: Arnold Schoenberg’s (35) Das Buch der hängenden Gärten op.15, to words of Stefan George, is performed for the first time, in Vienna. Also on the program is the premiere of Schoenberg’s Three Piano Pieces op.11, the fourth of his Four Songs op.2 to words of Schlaf, and excerpts from the unfinished Gurre-Lieder in a reduction for two pianos-eight hands which Schoenberg entrusted to Anton von Webern (26). The success of these excerpts prompts Schoenberg to finish the work. The pianist for the op.11 is Richard Bühlig who in 1933 will become the first music teacher of John Cage.
June 28, 1910: Authorities at the Vienna Music Academy agree to allow Arnold Schoenberg (35) to teach music theory in spite of his ethnic background.
January 18, 1911: Wassily Kandinsky writes an introductory letter to Arnold Schoenberg (36) in Vienna. He finds Schoenberg's compostional ideas similar to those he seeks in painting.
April 24, 1911: Disciples of Arnold Schoenberg (36) figure prominently in a performance at the Ehrbarsaal, Vienna. Premiered this evening are two works by Alban Berg (26), the Piano Sonata op.1 and the String Quartet op.3, along with the Four Pieces for violin and piano op.7 by Anton von Webern (27).
May 22, 1911: The earthly remains of Gustav Mahler are laid to rest in the Grinzing cemetery, Vienna, in the same grave as his daughter. Hundreds of mourners line the route and attend the burial in a steady rain, including Arnold Schoenberg (36), Alfons Diepenbrock (48), Bruno Walter, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Gustav Klimt, and representatives of major artistic organizations in Vienna and beyond.
August 4, 1911: Arnold Schoenberg (36) and his family depart Vienna to live in Berlin. They will first stay in Munich for two months.
December 18, 1911: The first Der Blaue Reiter exhibition of young expressionists opens at the Moderne Gallerie, Munich, including three paintings by Arnold Schoenberg (37).
February 4, 1912: Arnold Schoenberg’s (37) Six Little Piano Pieces op.19 are performed for the first time, in Berlin.
June 29, 1912: Arnold Schoenberg (37) writes from Berlin to Karl Wiener, president of the Academy of Music in Vienna, declining Wiener’s offer of a teaching position. His reasons are the salary and his aversion to Vienna.
September 3, 1912: The Five Orchestral Pieces op.16 by Arnold Schoenberg (37) are performed for the first time in their orchestral setting, in Queen’s Hall, London. The press is mostly scathing.
September 4, 1912: Arnold Schoenberg (37) writes to his publisher CF Peters enclosing the newspaper announcement of the premiere of his Five Orchestral Pieces. He is irate that he was not informed of it in advance.
October 16, 1912: After forty rehearsals, the long-awaited public premiere of Arnold Schoenberg’s (38) Pierrot Lunaire op.21, for speaker and chamber group to words of Giraud (tr. Hartleben), takes place in the Choralionsaal, Berlin. Some hissing is heard, but the audience is generally enthusiastic, giving the composer seven curtain calls. Anton von Webern (29), Edgard Varèse (28), and Sergey Diaghilev are among the listeners.
December 4, 1912: The two giants of early twentieth century music meet for the first time, in Berlin. Arnold Schoenberg (38) and Igor Stravinsky (30) are introduced by Sergey Diaghilev at a performance of Petrushka. Stravinsky will say that Schoenberg was warm and friendly to him and was interested in his music.
February 23, 1913: Gurre-Lieder, for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (38) to words of Jacobsen (tr. Arnold), is performed for the first time, in the Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, under the baton of Franz Schreker (34). There is a 15-minute standing ovation at the conclusion. Anton von Webern (29) is released from the sanitarium in order to attend the concert.
March 31, 1913: A concert in the Musikvereinsaal, Vienna is planned to include Anton von Webern’s (29) Six Pieces for large orchestra op.6 (premiere), Four Orchestral Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky, the Chamber Symphony op.9 by Arnold Schoenberg (38), two of the Five Orchestral Songs op.4 by Alban Berg (28) to words of Altenberg, and the Kindertotenlieder of Gustav Mahler (†1). During and following the Webern, opposing parties applaud and hiss. After the Schoenberg, whistles on door keys are added to the din, as are fights in the second balcony. Berg’s work elicits laughter from some audience members. Schoenberg, who is conducting at this point, stops Berg’s music, turns to the audience and threatens that all demonstrators will be evicted by force. This announcement causes the fighting to begin anew, including several demands for satisfaction on the field of honor. Webern shouts from his box that “all the baggage should be thrown out.” Opponents of the music suggest that proponents would best be served by a term in the Steinhof insane asylum. The President of the Academic Association for Literature and Music pleads with the audience to at least honor the memory of Mahler by listening to his Kindertotenlieder. He is forced to withdraw under a barrage of insults. Several audience members then storm the stage, causing the musicians to end the performance for the sake of their well being. The riot continues for another thirty minutes, as several differences of artistic opinion are settled in the street. See 24 January 1953.
January 29, 1914: Three of the Six Songs op.8 for solo voice and orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (39), are performed for the first time, in Prague.
February 4, 1914: In Berlin, Jean Sibelius (48) hears Gustav Mahler’s (†2) Symphony no.5 and the Kammersymphonie of Arnold Schoenberg (39). He reports: “This is a legitimate and valid way of looking at things, I suppose. But it is certainly painful to listen to. A result achieved by excessive cerebration. People whistled and shouted.”
July 20, 1914: Over a year after he first heard Pierrot Lunaire, Alban Berg (29) writes to Arnold Schoenberg (39), “I only know that on the two occasions when I heard Pierrot I was conscious of the deepest impression ever made on me by a work of art, and that the enigmatic power of these pieces has left indelible traces on my mind.” (Jarman, 106)
January 13, 1915: An earthquake centered around Avezzano, Italy causes 29,980 deaths. Alban Berg (29) will write to Arnold Schoenberg (40), “Here God has for once demonstrated how without any human contribution—within 10 seconds—he can dictate a ‘list of casualties’ of which even the nations that have been warring for months cannot have any conception.” (Floros, 57-58)
April 28, 1915: The fourth of the Eight Songs op.6 by Arnold Schoenberg (40) is performed for the first time, in the Schubertsaal, Vienna. See 26 January 1907.
May 20, 1915: Arnold Schoenberg (40) reports for military service in the Austro-Hungarian army, but is sent home.
December 15, 1915: Arnold Schoenberg (41) enters military service in the Hoch-und Dettschmeister Regiment in Vienna.
December 26, 1915: After almost five years of marriage and three children, Anton von Webern (32) and his wife, finally having achieved papal dispensation to marry as first cousins, have their union solemnized by the Catholic Church at the Parish of Ober St. Veit, Vienna. Father of the bride Gustav Mörtl and Arnold Schoenberg (41) are witnesses.
October 20, 1916: After recurrent asthma attacks, Arnold Schoenberg (42) is discharged from the Austro-Hungarian army.
September 19, 1917: World War I: Arnold Schoenberg (43) is inducted into the Austro-Hungarian army for a second time, forcing him to suspend work on Der Jakobsleiter.
June 12, 1918: At a public rehearsal in Vienna, an unknown woman approaches Arnold Schoenberg (43) and hands him an envelope. In it are 10,000 kronen and a note which reads “To the great artist, an admirer, a Jew.”
November 23, 1918: The first general meeting of the Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen (Society for Private Performances) is held in Vienna. An executive committee is elected. Arnold Schoenberg (44) is named President.
March 26, 1919: The sixth of the Six Songs op.3 by Arnold Schoenberg (44) is performed for the first time, in the Mozartsaal, Vienna. See 26 January 1907.
October 9, 1920: The first two of the Five Piano Pieces op.23 by Arnold Schoenberg (46) are performed for the first time, in Vienna.
October 23, 1920: The first of the Two Ballads op.12 for voice and piano by Arnold Schoenberg (46) is performed for the first time, in the Schubertsaal, Vienna.
January 20, 1921: In diesen Wintertagen op.14/2, a song by Arnold Schoenberg (46) to words of Henckel, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
June 30, 1921: The Neue Wiener Presse reports that the Austrian town of Mattsee, which passed a resolution that all Jews be forced to leave town, has requested that Arnold Schoenberg (46) produce proof that he is not a Jew (Schoenberg owns a summer home in the town). Although his certificate of baptism would be sufficient, the composer will decide to leave.
December 5, 1921: Owing to the depreciation of the Austrian currency, the Society for Private Musical Performances ceases operations with a production of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg (47). In three years, it has presented 117 concerts which included 154 contemporary works.
April 22, 1922: Five Orchestral Pieces by Arnold Schoenberg (47) are introduced to the Paris public in a Pasdeloup concert ten years after their London premiere. Some audience members express their opinion by emitting animal noises. A woman exclaims, “It’s a disgrace to subject war widows to stuff like this!”
October 23, 1922: Arnold Schoenberg (48) writes a scathing letter to Edgard Varèse (38) in New York. He refuses the repeated invitation to join the International Honorary Committee of Varèse’s International Composers Guild. He objects to the lack of German composers in the Guild’s programs and especially to the proposed performance of Pierrot Lunaire in New York. He withholds his blessing for that performance in the most scolding terms.
January 30, 1923: Lied der Waldtaube for chamber orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (48) to words of Jacobsen is performed for the first time, in Copenhagen.
April 19, 1923: Arnold Schoenberg (48) writes to Wassily Kandinsky, "I have at last learnt the lesson that has been forced upon me during this year, and I shall never forget it. It is that I am not a German, not a European, indeed perhaps scarcely even a human being (at least, the Europeans prefer the worst of their race to me), but I am a Jew." (Shaw, Auner, 150)
December 2, 1923: Herzgewächse op.20 for soprano, celesta, harp, and harmonium by Arnold Schoenberg (40) to words of Maeterlinck (tr. Ammer and von Oppeln-Bronikowski) is performed for the first time, in New York.
February 25, 1924: Suite for Piano op.25 by Arnold Schoenberg (49) is performed for the first time, in the Mozartsaal, Vienna.
April 1, 1924: Giacomo Puccini (65) travels to Florence to see Arnold Schoenberg (49) conduct his Pierrot Lunaire. “Who can say that Schoenberg will not be a point of departure to a goal in the distant future? But at present--unless I understand nothing--we are as far from a concrete artistic realization of it as Mars is from Earth.” Also present, and quite overwhelmed, is a conservatory student named Luigi Dallapiccola (20).
May 2, 1924: Serenade op.24 for bass and eight instruments by Arnold Schoenberg (49) to words of Petrarch (tr. Förster) is performed for the first time, privately, in Vienna.
June 6, 1924: Arnold Schoenberg’s (49) monodrama Erwartung op.17 to words of Pappenheim, is performed for the first time, at the Neue Deutsches Theater, Prague.
July 20, 1924: Serenade op.24 for bass and eight instruments by Arnold Schoenberg (49) to words of Petrarch (tr. Förster) is given its first public performance, in Donaueschingen conducted by the composer. See 2 May 1924.
August 28, 1924: Arnold Schoenberg (49) marries his second wife, Gertrud Kolisch in the Mödling Lutheran Parish Church. She is the sister of one of his students.
September 13, 1924: The Wind Quintet op.26 by Arnold Schoenberg is performed for the first time, in Vienna, on the composer’s 50th birthday.
October 14, 1924: Die glückliche Hand op.18, a drama with music by Arnold Schoenberg (50) to his own words, is performed for the first time, at the Vienna Volksoper.
December 11, 1924: After being mercilessly assailed in the first issue of its magazine, Arnold Schoenberg (50) resigns from the Austrian Association of Teachers of Music.
August 28, 1925: Arnold Schoenberg (50) signs a contract to teach a master class in composition at the Berlin Academy of Arts.
October 22, 1925: The first concert of the New Music Society of California takes place in the ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles. Organized by Henry Cowell (28) as an offshoot of Edgard Varèse’s (41) International Composers’ Guild, its “Resident Cooperating Committee” consists of Arthur Bliss, Henry Eichheim, and Dane Rudhyar (30). The program tonight includes music of Darius Milhaud (33), Carl Ruggles (49), Varèse, Leo Ornstein, Arnold Schoenberg (51), and Rudhyar.
February 28, 1926: Kurt Weill (25) writes of Arnold Schoenberg (51), “True, spurning all concessions, he proceeds with the straightforwardness of the fanatic who looks upon success in his lifetime almost as evidence of regression in his art. But even his opponents are forced to recognize in him the purest, noblest artistic personality and the most forceful spiritual force in musical life today.”
May 27, 1926: Arnold Schoenberg (51) takes the oath as a Prussian official, teaching a master class in composition at the Prussian Academy of Arts.
January 20, 1927: Arnold Schoenberg (52) is elected to the Senate of the Prussian Academy of Arts. This automatically gives him Prussian citizenship.
September 19, 1927: String Quartet no.3 by Arnold Schoenberg (53) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
December 15, 1927: Arnold Schoenberg’s (53) Suite for piano, three woodwinds, and three strings op.29 is performed for the first time, in Paris, conducted by the composer.
December 2, 1928: Variations for Orchestra op.31 by Arnold Schoenberg (54) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
November 2, 1929: The fourth of the Six Pieces for male chorus op.35 by Arnold Schoenberg (55) is performed for the first time, in Berlin. See 24 October 1931.
February 1, 1930: Von Heute auf Morgen, an opera by Arnold Schoenberg (55) to words of Max Blonda (pseud. of Gertrud Schoenberg), is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt.
April 8, 1930: Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene op.34 for orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (56) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Südwestfunk, Frankfurt. See 6 November 1930.
November 6, 1930: Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene op.34 for orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (56) is performed for the first time before a live audience, in Berlin. See 8 April 1930.
January 30, 1931: Piano Piece op.33a by Arnold Schoenberg (56) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
October 24, 1931: Six Pieces for male chorus op.35 by Arnold Schoenberg (57) to words of various authors is performed completely for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main. See 3 November 1929.
February 21, 1932: Four Songs with orchestra op.22 by Arnold Schoenberg (57), to words of Dowson (tr. George) and Rilke, are performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
May 13, 1932: Arnold Schoenberg (57) writes to Dr. Joseph Asch asking for financial help in moving permanently to Barcelona. The composer desires to relocate due to his medical condition and political reasons: “...Will you see if you can get some rich Jews to provide for me so that I don’t have to go back to Berlin among the swastika-swaggerers and pogromists.” The appeal is unsuccessful.
June 21, 1932: After conducting a concert in Vienna of works by Schoenberg (57), Berg (47), and Mahler (†21), Anton Webern (48) is admitted to the Rudolfsstiftung for diagnostic evaluation. He fainted during the last rehearsal for this performance. After twelve days, no physical problem is found and he is diagnosed as having a “nervous condition.” The composer will undergo “cures” at various establishments through the summer.
February 5, 1933: The Cello Concerto of Arnold Schoenberg (58) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of the BBC originating in London. See 7 November 1935.
March 1, 1933: At a meeting of the Senate of the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin, at which member Arnold Schoenberg (58) is present, President Max von Schillings announces the government’s intention to remove “Jewish elements” from the academy and further, “to break the Jewish stranglehold on western music.” Schoenberg takes this action as his dismissal.
May 17, 1933: After receiving a telegram from his brother-in-law which reads “Change of climate urgently recommended,” Arnold Schoenberg (58) and his wife immediately leave Berlin for Paris, never to return.
July 24, 1933: In a ceremony in Paris, Arnold Schoenberg (58) returns to the Jewish faith. Among the witnesses is Marc Chagall. Schoenberg became a Lutheran in 1898.
September 18, 1933: The German Ministry of Culture informs Arnold Schoenberg (59) that he has been dismissed from the Prussian Academy of the Arts effective 1 October.
October 25, 1933: Arnold Schoenberg (59) and his wife leave Europe aboard the Île de France from France heading for the United States. Since his father was born in Bratislava, the Czechoslovak embassy in Paris has provided him with a passport.
October 31, 1933: Arnold Schoenberg (59) and his family arrive in the United States at the port of New York, never to return to Germany. His employment at the Prussian Academy is officially ended as of this date.
March 6, 1934: When Arnold Schoenberg (59) gives a “Twelve-Tone Lecture” at Princeton University he meets Albert Einstein. It is the first time the great Jewish emigres have met.
March 16, 1934: Arnold Schoenberg (59) makes his US conducting debut in a program of his works in Boston.
April 29, 1934: Arnold Schoenberg (59) gives one of his first extended speeches in English, to the American-Palestine Institute of American Sciences in New York. It is entitled "Forward to a Jewish Unity Party."
September 26, 1934: Concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (60), is performed for the first time, in Prague.
May 18, 1935: Suite for Strings by Arnold Schoenberg (60) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles.
July 1, 1935: Arnold Schoenberg (60) enters into a teaching contract with the University of California at Los Angeles.
September 15, 1935: In Los Angeles, Arnold Schoenberg (61) collapses from exhaustion and the chronic effects of diabetes.
November 7, 1935: Cello Concerto by Arnold Schoenberg (61) is performed before a live audience for the first time, in London. See 5 February 1933.
January 8, 1937: String Quartet no. 4 by Arnold Schoenberg (62) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles.
May 24, 1938: As part of the Reichsmusiktage which began two days ago, an exhibition of degenerate music opens in Düsseldorf. Among the composers enshrined as “cultural bolsheviks” are Arnold Schoenberg (63), Igor Stravinsky (55), Alban Berg (†2), Paul Hindemith (42), Kurt Weill (38), and Ernst Krenek (37).
October 4, 1938: Kol Nidre for speaker, chorus, and orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (64) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles, the composer conducting.
December 6, 1940: Violin Concerto by Arnold Schoenberg (66) is performed for the first time, in Philadelphia.
December 15, 1940: Kammersymphonie no.2 by Arnold Schoenberg (66) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.
February 6, 1944: Piano Concerto op.42 by Arnold Schoenberg (69) is performed for the first time, in New York.
April 10, 1944: Arnold Schoenberg’s (69) organ work Variations on a Recitative op.40 is performed for the first time, in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York.
September 13, 1944: Arnold Schoenberg, on his 70th birthday, is required by law to retire from the faculty of UCLA.
October 20, 1944: Theme and Variations for orchestra op.43b by Arnold Schoenberg (70) is performed for the first time, in Boston. See 27 June 1946.
November 23, 1944: Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte for speaker, piano, and string quartet by Arnold Schoenberg (70) to words of Byron, is performed for the first time, in New York. This first performance is for string orchestra.
August 3, 1945: In a Los Angeles drugstore, two German-speaking emigres, Arnold Schoenberg (70) and Bertolt Brecht meet by chance.
November 18, 1945: The biblical cycle Genesis, organized by Nathaniel Shillkret, is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles. The constituent parts and their composers are: 1. Prelude-Arnold Schoenberg (71) 2. Creation-Shillkret 3. Adam and Eve-Alexandre Tansman 4. Cain and Abel-Darius Milhaud (53) 5. Noah’s Ark-Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco 6. The Covenant-Ernst Toch 7. The Tower of Babel-Igor Stravinsky (63).
June 27, 1946: Theme and Variations op.43a by Arnold Schoenberg (71), in its original scoring for band, is performed for the first time, in New York. See 20 October 1944.
August 2, 1946: Arnold Schoenberg (71) suffers a serious heart attack at his home in Los Angeles and is only saved by an injection made directly into his heart.
May 1, 1947: Three new works commissioned by Harvard University to accompany a symposium on music criticism are performed for the first time, at Sanders Theatre: String Quartet no.3 of Walter Piston (53), String Trio op.45 of Arnold Schoenberg (72), and the Sixth String Quartet of Bohuslav Martinu (56).
November 4, 1948: A Survivor from Warsaw for speaker, male chorus, and orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg (74) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
November 13, 1948: Arnold Schoenberg (74) writes to the editors of Saturday Review for Literature in protest to Thomas Mann’s unlicensed use of his twelve-tone method in his novel Doctor Faustus.
March 27, 1949: Aaron Copland (48) addresses the Waldorf Peace Conference in New York on “The Effect of the Cold War on the Artist in the United States.” He laments the current practice of having to choose between “the mass-appeal music of a Shostakovich (42) and the musical radicalism of a Schoenberg (74).”
May 9, 1949: Arnold Schoenberg (74) writes to Wolfgang Steinecke, turning down his request that Schoenberg join the faculty of the Darmstadt school.
September 11, 1949: In Virgil Thomson’s (52) column in the New York Herald-Tribune, Arnold Schoenberg (74) states that Aaron Copland (48) has made “malicious statements” about him, comparing Copland with Stalin. Ironically, Copland is simultaneously composing his Piano Quartet, his first to employ serial techniques.
September 13, 1949: Phantasy for violin and piano op.47 by Arnold Schoenberg is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles on the composer’s 75th birthday.
September 20, 1949: Piano Piece op.33b by Arnold Schoenberg (75) is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt.
October 23, 1949: At a concert in Los Angeles, Arnold Schoenberg (75) is presented with a certificate of honorary citizenship by the City of Vienna.
October 29, 1949: Dreimal Tausend Jahre op.50a for chorus by Arnold Schoenberg (75) to words of Runes, is performed for the first time, in Fylkingen.
May 16, 1950: Three Songs op.48 for low voice and piano by Arnold Schoenberg (75) to words of Haringer, are performed for the first time, in Los Angeles.
July 2, 1951: Der Tanz um goldene Kalb from Arnold Schoenberg’s (76) opera Moses und Aron, is performed for the first time, in Darmstadt. See 12 March 1954 and 6 June 1957.
July 13, 1951: Arnold Schoenberg dies of encephalitis in his home at 116 North Rockingham Avenue in Los Angeles, USA, aged 76 years and ten months. His earthly remains will be buried in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna in 1974.
July 14, 1951: In his Los Angeles home, Igor Stravinsky (69) learns of the death of Arnold Schoenberg last night. Mrs. Stravinsky will recall that he suffered an "attack of nerves and even real tears." He sends the first telegram of condolence to Mrs. Schoenberg that she will receive. (Craft, 2013, 16)
February 8, 1952: String Quartet in D by Arnold Schoenberg (†0) is performed for the first time, at the Library of Congress, Washington.
January 29, 1954: De profundis for chorus by Arnold Schoenberg (†2) to words from the Bible, is performed for the first time, in Cologne.
March 12, 1954: Acts I and II of Arnold Schoenberg’s (†2) unfinished opera Moses und Aron, to his own words, are performed for the first time, in a concert setting, over the airwaves of Radio Hamburg. At the concert, Schoenberg’s daughter Nuria meets Luigi Nono (30) for the first time. They will marry next year. See 2 July 1951 and 6 June 1957.
May 29, 1956: Arnold Schoenberg’s (†4) unfinished Modern Psalm for chorus, speaker, and orchestra, to his own words, is performed for the first time, in Cologne.
June 6, 1957: Arnold Schoenberg’s (†5) unfinished opera Moses und Aron to his own words, is performed completely for the first time, in the Zürich Stadttheater. See 2 July 1951 & 12 March 1954.
October 10, 1957: Three Pieces for chamber ensemble by Arnold Schoenberg (†6) are performed for the first time, in Berlin, 47 years after they were composed.
January 12, 1958: Die Jakobsleiter, an oratorio by Arnold Schoenberg (†6), is performed for the first time, in Hamburg 36 years after it was originally composed.
December 1, 1958: Arnold Schoenberg’s (†7) unfinished oratorio Jacob’s Ladder to his own words, for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
January 12, 1981: Beast 708 for computer generated tape or flute, clarinet, two horns, two trombones, vibraphone, piano, violin, and double bass by Charles Wuorinen (42) in memory of Arnold Schoenberg (†29), is performed for the first time, at the Arnold Schoenberg Institute of UCLA conducted by the composer. (The UCLA libraries have no record of this event.)